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Food & Drink

At Benny’s Bagels Lakewood, You’re Getting the Salmon and Schmear


A confession: I don’t believe that schmear makes a bagel better. My first trip to NYC’s Ess-a-Bagel was an exercise in acting as I dealt with an onion bagel that had been cruelly smothered in a pound of schmear in front of my Manhattan host.

A bagel, I think (and again, this is opinion, not fact), benefits from butter or, at most, a thin layer of schmear. It doesn’t need to be loaded up. I want to taste the bread, right? I recognize that this is not the most aggressive bagel-take, but it’s my truth. Of course, there are exceptions to be made.

At Benny’s Bagels Lakewood, tucked in the corner of a strip across the street from Cosmo’s, you have choices. It’s a bagel shop after all, and if there’s an underlying ethos to any bagel shop worth visiting, it’s an abundance of choice. But what I’m here to tell you is that free will doesn’t exist. You will be ordering the Salmon, Egg & Schmear on an everything bagel.

Yes, I realize that this is antithetical to my bagel thesis. Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, my stomach is large and contains a loaded breakfast bagel sandwich.

Filled with two eggs, Norwegian smoked salmon and cream cheese, this sandwich could fall into a one-note textural funk, that while deliciously fishy and breakfasty, would not lend itself to a full devouring. Even an exceptionally chewy plain bagel, like the one at Benny’s, would be forced to work double-time to offer the contrast necessary. But that’s why you’re going to order this on an everything bagel.

Coated in poppy and sesame seeds, the everything bagel provides that necessary crunch to aid the salmon, eggs and schmear on their quest. Your tastebuds delight at this salty, smoky, bready blend of bagel nirvana.

Aided by a cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice and a coffee, you can devour this beast. And then, it’s time to go back to bed. You ordered the Salmon, Egg & Schmear on an everything bagel at Benny’s Bagels Lakewood. There’s no way to go up from here.